Cummings Issues Staff Report Calling for Urgent Reforms at TSA

Sep 25, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 25, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a staff report detailing the Committee’s three-year investigation into security deficiencies and personnel management problems at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and offering key proposals for reforms to help ensure the safety of the American people.

“I launched this bipartisan, three-year investigation with our former Chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and I have continued it with our current Chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy.   I have pursued this investigation aggressively—regardless of who is in the White House—because the safety of the American people should not be a partisan issue.  Based on the classified and unclassified documents we have obtained and the interviews we have conducted over the past three years, I believe urgent reforms are necessary to improve security operations, personnel management, and transparency at TSA.  I do not know who will control Congress next year, but we must redouble our oversight efforts while also moving to implement concrete reforms,” said Ranking Member Cummings.

The staff report sets forth three key recommendations from Ranking Member Cummings:

  • Recommendation #1—Security Operations: Based on the classified and unclassified information obtained by the Committee as part of its three-year investigation, Ranking Member Cummings recommends that Congress demand sustained accountability from TSA officials to finally implement unfulfilled security recommendations made by the Inspector General, GAO, and others that have languished in some cases for years.  Although many of these unimplemented recommendations are classified, Congress should launch a one-year oversight effort—including regular meetings, briefings, and if necessary, hearings—to ensure that TSA finally implements these recommendations and resolves security vulnerabilities.


  • Recommendation #2—Personnel ManagementRanking Member Cummings recommends that Congress consider legislative proposals to strengthen civil service protections at TSA to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers who report security deficiencies and to ensure that employees are not subject to arbitrary personnel actions, which ultimately degrade security.


  • Recommendation #3—TransparencyRanking Member Cummings recommends that Congress continue oversight and consider legislation to significantly enhance transparency regarding whistleblower claims, settlement agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.

Click here to read the full staff report.

115th Congress